China refuses to talk with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, and it shows that Joe Biden’s America is neither feared nor respected.
Neither Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe nor Beijing’s Central Military Commission Vice Chairman Xu Qiliang, who is close to Chinese Communist Party (CCP) boss Xi Jinping, will take Austin’s call.
It shows that the Chinese view themselves as the side with power. Reading in-between the lines of an article that appeared on the CCP propaganda site The Global Times, the response seems to suggest that Beijing believes it can obtain concessions from Washington by holding out. By desperately chasing Beijing, the Biden administration has chosen to posture against China from a position of weakness.
The Global Times said:
“The US is now releasing inaccurate information through the press and is attempting to shift the blame to China for the fact that no high-level military talks have taken place so far. This is irresponsible. The source noted that as long as the US can abide by this principle, communication and talks are wide open at all levels between the Chinese and US militaries. The US always wants to get along with China from an advantageous position, setting preconditions for military-to-military relations, while China always stresses that mutual respect and mutual benefit in cooperation are the way to go in bilateral relations, the source said.”
“Mutual respect” and “mutual benefit in cooperation” to China means doing everything China’s way and on China’s terms. It doesn’t mean getting the CCP to end its territorial claims to the South China Sea or belligerency toward Taiwan, Vietnam, or the Philippines.
The Chinese clearly have the upper hand. North Korea’s leadership similarly ignored a Biden administration request to talk.
As Sun-Tzu said in “The Art of War,” “By holding out advantages to him, he can cause the enemy to approach of his own accord; or, by inflicting damage, he can make it impossible for the enemy to draw near.”
American and Chinese naval forces have played a game of cat and mouse in recent months to Beijing’s irritation. China protested the recent passage of the American destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur through the Taiwan Strait. The Biden administration has continued the Trump administration’s policy of sending U.S. warships through the disputed waterways despite Chinese protests, particularly in the disputed Taiwan Strait, Spratly, and Paracel islands.
Don’t think that China hasn’t watched as President Joe Biden and his administration have conceded time after time following tough talk since January. First, the Biden administration promised that it would not end sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program. Then Biden recklessly decided to pursue re-entering the Iran nuclear deal without any leverage over Tehran, not unlike his support for the failed SALT II nuclear arms control treaty with the Soviet Union 40 years ago.
With regard to Russia, Biden started off his term agreeing to let Vladimir Putin continue his nuclear modernization program and pledge of a first-use option with his tactical nuclear weapons in the event of a war between Russia and NATO in the Baltics or Poland. Then he flip-flopped on whether or not he would uphold President Donald Trump’s sanctions on the Nordstream 2 pipeline that further cements German dependence on Russia for natural gas. He did all of this despite having spent the entire 2020 campaign attacking former President Trump as “Putin’s puppy.”
Had Trump done what Biden has done, the current president and his supporters would have accused the former president of being a “traitor.”
Trump bombed Russian mercenaries in Syria that threatened U.S. interests. Now Russia appears to be in Syria to stay and is now basing its deadly Tu-22M3 Backfire bombers there, and there’s scant word from the Biden administration about this development. The Soviet Union developed the Backfire during the Cold War with the aim of sinking U.S. aircraft carriers. They’re a direct threat to the U.S. Sixth Fleet, not just to Syrian jihadists who are opposed to the Assad regime.
A former senior U.S. diplomat who I spoke with, who worked with the Chinese, told me that this brinksmanship on China’s part is all about getting Biden to cave. There’s no doubt that Beijing sees a chance to get Biden to concede in areas where Beijing seeks dominance in East Asia based on what it’s seen from his performance as president.
I warned that Biden would pre-emptively surrender to the nation’s enemies in December. Four months of the Biden presidency have proven my instincts to have been correct. Thus far, Biden has:
- Caved to Russia on nuclear weapons and the NordStream 2 pipeline;
- Given Iran a blank check to foster terrorism and disrupt the peace in Yemen, Iraq, Israel, and Syria;
- And worked to get Iran back into the violated nuclear deal, ignoring the fact that the country that has consistently violated every agreement it’s ever signed.
We saw that the Biden team isn’t up to the job when the Chinese foreign minister and his wolf-warrior diplomats lectured Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his team about supposed American human-rights violations in Anchorage in March. Instead of rising to the challenge, Blinken and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan backed down and apologized.
The United States must return to a posture of strength and increase its military support for Taiwan, Japan, India, and Australia. It should consider deploying intermediate-range nuclear missiles (IRBMs) to the Aleutians to threaten China.
And it must increase the freedom of navigation patrols until the Chinese are forced to the point of irritation to talk. The same goes for dealing with Moscow and backing Ukraine, the Baltics, and NATO’s Eastern European allies.
Diplomacy without power leads to war and surrender.
The world saw what happened when power-hungry dictators are appeased following the 1938 Munich Conference and “peace in our time.” Incompetence in confronting Hitler led to my family in the Vosges Mountains of Eastern France spending four years under Nazi occupation even though the French army had been regarded as the strongest in Europe on paper.
Hitler would have been finished had the French retaliated against the Nazis for militarizing the Ruhr Valley in 1935 and pressed the attack into Germany in 1939.
Appeasement causes more deaths every time.
John Rossomando is a senior analyst for defense policy at the Center for Security Policy and served as senior analyst for counterterrorism at The Investigative Project on Terrorism for eight years.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.